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The Labour Party have made the statement that tenancy deposits should be capped at a mere three weeks, in a radical move attempting to make things ‘fairer’ for tenants.
Labour has argued that tenancy security deposits, which are left with landlords or letting agents, should be capped at a minimum of just three weeks. This is in sharp contrast to the six weeks rent proposed as part of the Tenant Fees Bill which was introduced to Parliament last month.
The cap on security deposits was first announced as part of the chancellor’s Autumn statement, made in November last year. The initial ethos behind capping them was that the government believes that they cause significant affordability issues for tenants and prevent people from finding homes for a suitable price. However, the Labour Party is of the opinion that the proposed six weeks’ limit to deposits is too high. They instead argued that legislation must be implemented to halve this time limit to three weeks in order to support tenants looking for an affordable home.
The Labour Party argues that their plans would save tenants £575 on average. This is in comparison to the government’s proposal of £1,150, based on a limit of six weeks’ rent. This proposal offers tenants more choice in their property, as they may be able to pursue homes with higher rents as these properties will no longer be accompanied by cripplingly high deposits which encourage tenants to fall at the first hurdle.
Labour’s shadow housing minister, Melanie Onn, said: ‘Labour is fighting for a fairer deal for all renters. We recognise the private rented sector is the fastest growing area of housing, and it is right that they are not exploited by unfair fees. This government has failed renters for the last eight years. Labour will hold them to account to make sure the power between landlords and tenants is rebalanced.’